icon Skip to content
Find stone for home and garden in our big campaign! Up to 30% discount
Sweden's largest selection of stone for your home & garden - Fast home deliveries throughout the country
Från isdös till engelsk trädgård

From icebox to English garden

An old dairy

In the middle of Malmköping there is an old dairy with a milkman's residence, a milk shop and an associated ice box. An ice box is a deep excavated surface, here about 12x5 meters, where ice was stored before refrigerators and freezers existed. Large blocks of ice were sawn out of Hosjön in the winter and placed in sawdust to keep it dry. Everything was covered with reed mats and the ice lasted all summer. The dairy was closed down in the 40s, but the ice box with its surrounding walls and protective planks is still there today. We moved into the dairy house in 1993 and the icebox was mostly junk. There were old stumps, twisting roots and bad soil. Everyone saw the potential in the surface and we thought for 15 years. It was natural to think swimming pool, which was investigated. The neighbor was worried about the wall and the bodies of water, so the project was put on hold for another year.

Ice cube - dull and unused surface

Unused patio in the background

The project idea takes shape

New ideas were needed now. At the Creative Market in Stallarholmen in 2009, we found a garden architect who seemed to suit us. Cecilia came for an initial visit where we discussed possibilities and she suggested that the ice box be turned into an English garden with a pond. A first proposal was drawn up - it felt good. Now the plan really started to take shape! The most important thing was to change the ice box with the old patio, but to try to make the whole garden fit together better and create interesting and inviting rooms. Cecilia measured the entire garden and noted different angles and perspectives. We agreed on a silver-green-blue/purple/pink color scheme. Old stone tiles were to be removed - it had to be uniform! Limestone was chosen for the large areas - four of the seats, as it went well with the chosen colors and felt so alive!

Full plan with detailed sketch for ice cube tray

The work begins

In the spring of 2010, work began in earnest. Digging by hand was unthinkable, so a local contractor was hired. At the same time, a material specification was made based on Stenbolaget's range.
In order to be able to drive down into the ice box with an excavator, iron posts had to be sawed off with an angle grinder and a ramp built both outside and inside the wall. On the very first day, all the stumps, roots, plants and other debris that was going away disappeared. The entire icebox was dug out, as drainage had to be done. Drainage hose, drains, electrical lines were laid and pole gloves were put down. New soil masses were laid on and raked out according to the drawing that existed for flower beds, seating, walkways, stairs and pond.
Already at the end of the first week, the retaining wall towards the patio and the edges of the pond had been set with the same type of self-locking curb stone. The pond, which was 280x280 cm and 80 cm deep, felt huge!

The excavator is driven over the ramp into the icebox.

The excavation begins!

Land planning underway.

Retaining wall and dam edges in place.

The project is starting to take shape

The new raised patio was paved with limestone tiles as was another shaded seating area in the lower left corner. The plan for the total surface was based on symmetry, but from a surprising perspective. Wide limestone walkways were laid on two sides of the pond and lavender was allowed to border. The same stone slabs were laid around the pond. At two other seats in the long sides of the garden, knots were laid, which took up the roughness of the surrounding wall. Granite steps were laid as steps up to the patio.
After a few weeks, the lawn could be rolled out and the planting of plants started. Posts were put up and rebars were made to help create room. Plants that would climb here were set; different kinds of clematis, climbing roses and vines. Although hundreds of plants were planted, it felt cold, so a lot of herbs were also planted in stone pots. At the end of the summer, it was a little greener.
The first step in the project with the rest of the garden was taken in late summer when a circular room was created using cobblestones and boxwood hedges. In the middle stands a newly planted ornamental apple.

Lawn laid and first planting ready.

A little greener at the end of summer.

The cobblestone creates a new patio.

Summer 2011

All the stone, the surrounding walls and the planks make the garden an oasis where peaches, grapes, figs and lemon trees thrive. Some plants had to be dug up as they became twice as tall as planned! The old covered patio has now been given sliding window sections and a glass door. We take the opportunity to enjoy ourselves with the fountain in the pond as background noise. Tumbled granite stone was placed at the bottom of the pond to create depth and hide the treatment plant.
The project continues outside our newly created paradise. In early summer, a garden area is laid out, mainly for kitchen plants, according to planning. The land is divided into three cultivation areas with corridors of knots in between. Potatoes, beans, peas and Swiss chard, rhubarb and more thrive here. According to the plan, there is a stone-paved path around the garden, but we haven't gotten that far in the project. A lilac hedge was planted to separate the growing area from the compost bins.
Aronia hedges were planted in a semi-circle to create a room with a view from the kitchen window. The whole hedge should have a curb when it's ready - but we haven't got there yet. The hedge is broken by a circle of cobblestones. In its center is a flagpole and a carpet of cat's feet planted.

The patio summer 2011.

Seat in the sun in front of the pond.

Aronia hedge with garden land behind.

The semi-circular hedge with flagpole.

Summer 2012

Early this spring, the entire patio was emptied under cover. It overlooks our new garden and is accessed by a granite step from the patio. Here there were old sea stone slabs that broke the whole. It was relaid with limestone slabs. The walls were insulated and painted and a new front door was installed.
Outside the front door, a wide walking surface with knobs was laid. This connected the patio with the residential building in a nice way and means that the grass here is not worn down. Hedges planted last year were edged with cobblestones.
At the kitchen entrance at the back there was a patio that was paved with red island stone. Over the years, a lot of work has gone into picking up dandelions between the stones. Tables and chairs have wiggled here and there - now this too would be gone! Everything was excavated and a lot of sub-work was done before this surface was also covered with limestone with a small "on-ramp" of knobs. The discounts were widened to match sight lines and plants were planted.
The covered patio and the patio at the kitchen entrance were tied together with limestone stepping stones.

Patio under roof with limestone tiles.

A knotty surface binds the houses together.

Limestone stepping stones form a walkway.

Patio at kitchen entrance.

The project continues..

Now the summer of 2012 is over and we enjoy looking out into our lovely garden. The pots are brought into the insulated patio and they, like us, rest over the winter. In the spring, we will take a new approach by making footpaths in the kitchen garden, putting curbs around flower beds and reducing the grass areas! Mowing the lawn is so boring! A raspberry hedge and some currant bushes should also be planted.
We have selected some part of the project while we develop selected parts even more. We would like to find a solution with rippling or running water for the pond. We have found good examples and will continue to think until the snow melts away again in 2013...!

Walkways in the kitchen garden - new project...

We are looking for new ideas for bubbling water!

Or maybe like this...? ?

Previous article Retaining walls on the isthmus
Next article Gate posts with lighting, new parking